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Anthony Pettis at Center of UFC 150 Lightweights' Attention

Gallery Photo: UFC 144 Fight Night Photos
Gallery Photo: UFC 144 Fight Night Photos

Anthony Pettis isn't even on Saturday's UFC 150 fight card. And yet the former WEC lightweight champion is a hot topic of discussion in Denver.

Pettis, of course, is the only man since 2007 to score a victory over current UFC champion Benson Henderson. The Milwaukee-based fighter brought down the curtain on the WEC with his memorable "Showtime kick" at the end of his title-winning effort against Henderson on the final WEC card on Dec. 16, 2010.

UFC 150 is a lightweight showcase, with Henderson defending his title in a rematch against Frankie Edgar and another WEC alum, Donald Cerrone, taking on Melvin Guillard.

At Thursday's press conference, though, Pettis, who at one point was promised at title shot which hasn't yet materialized, was on everyone's mind.

"At some point in time, Anthony Pettis and I will dance in the cage again," Henderson said. "Before he retires, before I retire, we will dance in the cage again.

But Henderson said he's not going to stop and wait to give the man who beat him for WEC gold a rematch.

"It's on him," said Henderon. "It's his job to get to the belt level. It's not my job to wait for him or open the doors for him. He's great. He's a great fighter. I take my hat off to him. I'm a big fan of his. But it's not up to me to say, 'This guy's next. He's next.' My job it to beat whoever they put in front of me."

While Henderson has shown Pettis a measure of respect while telling him to wait his turn, Cerrone has shown no such deference. At Tuesday's UFC 150 conference call, Cerrone lambasted Pettis.

"I've been trying to fight Anthony for a while now and every time I suggest it his manager comes back and says, 'well, we're not ready,' " Cerrone said. "'Maybe we'll fight somebody else right now.' There's always an excuse.

"He wants to just sit and hide behind his win over Ben [Henderson] and keep riding that gravy train. But there are fighters who want to fight him and prove that he's all talk."

Pettis finally responded to Cerrone Thursday via Twitter: "If u want to fight me you don't have to be a [expletive] and make up lies @cowboycerrone. I'll show you why I was the champ and u weren't!"

With a record of 15-2, Pettis last fought on Feb. 26, when he defeated Joe Lauzon with a knockout-of-the-night-earning head kick. He's presently on the sidelines recuperating from a shoulder injury.

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